Posts Tagged ‘humility’
“And He[Jesus] died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:17
This has always been one of my favorite Bible verses about sacrifice. It’s so poetic and simple. Jesus died for you so that you could be reconciled to God and have eternal life. Our response should be that we try and live for Him and for becoming more like Him. So many of us, myself included, want to just add God into our lives as just another thing that we do. We don’t want God to take over our lives and surrender control to Him. But if we really understood what grace was all about and how much better life is when allow God to be the potter and us the clay, we can’t help but want to live more and more for God’s plan for our lives.
But fear often gets in the way. I’ve experienced more than my share of fear and apprehension over God’s plan for my life. No one likes uncertainty, and we’re all afraid of what God will do with our lives if we really surrender and strive to live for Him who died for us and was raised again. That fear is something that each of us has do deal with. In my own life, I finally came to the realization that when I spend all my time striving after my own ambitions and desires, that I end up miserable. I have no peace, no contentment, no meaning in my life. It’s during those times that I realize that God could do no worse than what I’ve done for myself, and I fight through the fear and surrender control of my life to Him who died for me and was raised again. Fear is just something that each of us has to deal with. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll be more afraid of what will happen if you spend all of your days striving after your own selfish ambitions and come to the end of your life and feel regret over how things turned out. I don’t want to come to the end of my life and feel regret. I know that the more I surrender my life and my plans to God, the less likely I’ll be to regret the choices and desicions I make.
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
Not many people like to think about the idea of God actively opposing them, especially if you are a Christian. But one thing my pastor once said has stuck with me. He said that pride is something that survives salvation. Even though you became a Christian, your pride hasn’t been eradicated. In fact, some Christians seem to become more proud once they accept salvation. Self-righteousness starts to take hold. And God hates it. He actively opposes it. In the original Greek, one of the meanings of the verse goes as follows, “God goes to war with your pride, but gives grace to the humble.” That’s pretty startling.
So often in church, I’ve heard people say how the Devil is really harassing them and bringing them a lot of hardship. But how do we know that the Devil is responsible for the hardship a person is experiencing? What if God is gently trying to break down a person’s pride and teach them how to rely on Him? In Hebrews it says to “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.” Why, when we go through hardship, is our first thought always that the Devil is responsible? What if God is opposing us because of our pride or else allowing hardship in order to work on our character?
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
We’ve all heard the phrase, pride comes before the fall. This is the famous Bible verse from where the saying is coined. And it’s so true. Proud, arrogant, conceited people always think they’ll always be more successful than everyone else. But when hard times come and they truly need a hand, they often are too proud to ask and even if they do, they’ll generally not find very many willing helpers. So when a proud person falls, it’s often so much harder than when a humble person falls. When a humble person gets in trouble, often the people around them are quick to give a helping hand and bring them up from their difficulty. But when a proud person falls, they’re too stubborn to admit it, and those who are able to help aren’t generally willing. That’s why many have said that it’s better to have friends than wealth. Friends are always there to give you a helping hand. Wealth is a poor substitute.
But think about it from God’s perspective. God wants us all to live with reverence and the fear of the Lord. Pride is the exact opposite of the fear of the Lord. Pride tells a person that they themselves are the most important thing on the planet, that they’re the top dog. The fear of the Lord says that there’s a bigger picture and more at stake than just your own happiness, comfort, and pleasure. So when God sees someone living in pride, He must get very sad. Pride is the exact opposite mentality that we’re supposed to have. So maybe God intentionally thwarts proud people as a lesson to the rest of us to take warning. More about that in later Bible verses.
“For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” Proverbs 8:11
This Bible verse about wisdom astonishes me. It’s essentially saying that the greatest thing a person can desire is wisdom. That’s very surprising to me at first glance. I would have expected that the utmost thing a person could desire would be something like loving relationships with God and with others. But then it struck me that wisdom is really a path to every other good thing in life. A truly wise person naturally has healthy and loving relationships with other people. They realize that simple worldly pleasures, selfish ambitions, and all the other things that corrupt us and stand in the way of becoming the people we were meant to be. Truly wise people desire all other good things, things like peace, contentment, and love. That is, to me, why wisdom is the utmost thing that a person can desire, because wisdom is a gateway to all other good things a person can desire. Without wisdom we are fools, getting trapped by foolish desires that won’t ever bring us to the happiness, satisfaction, and meaning we thought we’d one day find. Without wisdom, can we ever really desire things like peace and love and contentment? Without wisdom, how can we ever overcome the selfish desires that so often come to trap us? Nothing you desire can compare with wisdom.